Why I’m NOT going to the Stampede – originally published July 9, 2008

Since the beginning of the month, I’ve been asked several times if I’m going to take the boys down to the “grounds”. My answer is always an unequivocal NO. The idea of taking them down, on the train, in the heat, in the crowds, to battle line-ups, etc., etc., is just not at all appealing to me. Not to mention that 95% of their clothing consists of jeans and t-shirts from the Children’s Place, and getting them into any sort of Western wear would require way more patience and organization skills than I currently possess. (note about this: I may do a lot of mommy things well, but caring about their outfits is just not one of them. My one standard is cleanliness: if it’s clean, they can wear it. This means that last summer, Mark wore a blue shirt that had a picture of a guitar and the words “Rock On” every second day. But I digress.)

I grew up in Calgary, and although I visited the Stampede with some regularity, I just never understood the appeal. With the exception of the requisite group dates to the Stampede as a teenager (anyone remember Sundowners?), I failed to see anything special about it.

This all changed once I finished university and started working in O&G. All you who have worked in the O&G industry in Calgary know what I’m saying. Leaving work to go drinking and do a lame version of the two-step was not only tolerated, it was encouraged. Party at 11:00 am, on company time, with company funds? Of course. Going to the rodeo instead of working on a project? Yes indeed. Being either completely drunk or completely hungover for ten days? Yes sir!

I guess that compared to that, dressing the boys up in Western wear to go to the grounds, lining up to go on a kiddie ride and eat a sno-cone is just such a comedown that I don’t want to do it. Also, the last rodeo I attended (in 2003) was so much fun that I got pregnant! Oops, was that too much information? Cheers, and happy Stampeding to all of you going!

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